How can love mend a heart full of hate? Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings. Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.
Let’s start off with a few serious questions before we get to the fun stuff…
Please tell us something that just happened or is about to happen in your life that you would like to share.
My family is moving to Italy this summer for a few years. We’ve moved around quite a bit. But it is our choice and makes life so much more interesting. I’m very excited because I’ll have more time to write and more inspiring places to visit.
Which character was your favorite to write about?
Victor Sorren. When I met my husband he was kind of a Byronic-hero type of guy. Writing about Victor reminded me of those early, exciting times.
Did one of them surprise you while writing?
Oh yeah. They all do. I have the plot outlined for the entire four volumes, yet the characters take me to places I never expected to go. Especially in book two, because now my characters really started to live on their own. I guess the more books you write dealing with the same characters, the more real they become to you.
I saw that Kirkus Reviews put Fields of Elysium as a similar book to Eclipse. Will you tell us your thoughts on why they did that?
Well, I felt very honored because I loved the Twilight Series. Though Fields of Elysium is not about vampires and werewolves, the setting is similar. A teen girl discovers something extraordinary and decides to keep it a secret. She starts to live a double life: one of an average high school girl and one of a love-struck teen who becomes part of an amazing and dangerous life. I spent a great deal of time to express Molly’s feelings as she becomes entangled with her new life. I once left my country and family to move with a mysterious and alluring man I barely knew but loved very deeply, to a country where adventure and danger lurked at every corner. I channeled those old feelings and stories of mine into my novel, so the plot is really not Twilight. However, I guess Kirkus found the romance and/or the secrecy similar to the Twilight series, because if you visit the Kirkus New Moon page or Fields of Elysium page you’ll find the same connection there, too. I only hope they meant it as a compliment. J
The blurb says, “from where there is no return and multiple endings.” Will you tell us a little more about this statement?
Molly, the main character, discovers the gateway to a new earth by chance, where she meets someone who steals her heart. From that moment she will be burdened with vast secrets. Secrets that if she shares could mean the end of that peaceful and amazing civilization and her chance to see Victor again. When once you get a taste of a better life and your heart is irrevocably drawn to someone, you can never return to your former self or life. Sooner or later you have to take sides, do things you normally wouldn’t do, and finally make the ultimate decision.
Do you read reviews of your books? If you do, how do you react to the information provided?
I do read all of them. I get so excited when I see a new review. I still can’t believe that people actually read my book and took the time to write about it. If it’s a positive review, then it makes my day, knowing that there are likeminded people out there and I’m not alone. If it’s a negative review, however constructive, then I make notes and do my best to learn from it. I usually ignore one star reviews because most of the time they are just malicious and trying to bring me down. I received several five star reviews from professional companies, so my book can’t be that much garbage. I understand that people have different tastes but calling the author and/or her work names is hitting below the belt. I’ve worked too hard and come too far to let negative people bring me down.
Now to the fun stuff…
Do you have a playlist for your book or a theme song for Molly?
I do, but I’d be embarrassed to share it. J But if you read the book you’ll find a song that Molly sings in front of her entire class.
Which of your characters would you like to have over for dinner?
I keep saying the same name but I can’t help myself because I just love Victor. He’s charming, interesting, cool and a real man despite his age. But girls don’t have to go over to Arkana to find cool young guys like him; just check out a few U21 club soccer teams. J
If the zombie apocalypse strikes, what weapon do you grab?
A big can of lighter fluid and a bunch of lighters or matches.
What are a few things on your bucket list?
I want to go to Cambodia for a backpacking trip with my husband. I want to see my hardcover book in the shopping basket of a Barnes & Noble customer. I want to invite my faithful fans, my family and all my friends to the cinema to watch the movie adaptation of my book. I want to get lost in a jungle with my husband to find out what we’re really made of. I have lots more. I like to dream big. My dreams push me forward.
Do you prefer sleeping in or getting up early?
I used to love sleeping in, but since becoming a mom I get up early. By now I’m so used to it that it doesn’t bother me at all.
What is your favorite gadget?
I love the GPS in my car. I have a horrible sense of direction.
I'd like to thank you so very much for taking the time to answer my questions!
A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California. While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash A gift bag of one signed copy of Fields of Elysium, a scrabble-tile pendant on a necklace, and a fridge magnet Ends 5/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://www.iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway